Smartphone app allows students, parents to report bullying incidents directly to principal

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PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. -- It's getting easier for students at Platte County R-3 Schools to stand up for themselves against bullies. The school district is using a website called Sprigeo where students and parents can report bullying incidents.

Sprigeo even lets students submit complaints from their cell phones. Platte City Middle School was the first to start using the system.

"The smartphones are the way that kids communicate," said Dr. Chris Miller, principal at Platte City Middle School.

Students or parents can log on the Sprigeo website or phone app to type up the issue. From there, it's sent directly to Miller's cell phone.

"At 12 o'clock at night, if I am at home my phone will notify me for an incident that has been reported," said Dr. Miller.

Students at Platte City Middle School told FOX 4 the program makes reporting an incident less intimidating.

"It just really helps them out because they don't have to confront the person head on," eighth grade student Jenna Harms said. "They don`t have to be the snitch who told on someone."

Dr. Miller told FOX 4 so far this school year he has received six reports from Sprigeo. Last year, he received between 50 and 75 reports from the phone app. Miller told FOX 4 not all of the reports are instances of bullying, but can be as minor as an argument between friends.

The halls of Platte City Middle School are lined with posters reminding students to use the website and report bullying.

"If they're getting bullied, physically sometimes, or some people are making fun of their clothing of their looks, and it can be verbal or cyber-bullying, those kinds of situations," eighth grade student Carli Hensley said.

The Sprigeo app has been so successful Platte County Schools just started using it at Plate County High School and Barry Elementary School this school year.

Staff hopes to soon have it up and running at all of the schools in the district.